“Mummy is in hospital and daddy is sick …” An afternoon’s visit to MITA detention centre in Melbourne

Visit to MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation) detention centre Broadmeadows (24 July)

I’ve just now properly digested my mother’s account of one of her regular visits to detention centre located in suburban Melbourne after some travel this past week. It seemed timely to publish this given today’s evidence at the national inquiry into children in immigration detention.

This is a lightly edited version of her letter, published with her permission:

When normal visiting hours started at 2pm there was great sadness, as a stateless Rohingya family from Burma, mother, father and three children, who have not long started school, had that morning been sent back to Christmas Island. They had only recently been reunited with their teenage son after 2 years separation. On Wednesday they had to say goodbye to him as he was sent back to Brisbane.

We also heard that there would be a mass and memorial service at 5pm for the brother of one of the Tamil ASIO rejected men who tragically lost his life in Sri Lanka after much suffering.

Another ASIO rejected Tamil man came to me very upset as the day before he had just received another rejection. I had been seeing him on the last few visits as he asked me if I could give him some clothes for his 9 year old daughter, who is having a birthday soon, and his seven year old son so he could send the clothes to them in Sri Lanka.

We meet two grandmothers. One was to be sent back to Christmas Island the next day.

We had parcels for 8 individuals or families. One was for another large extended family. The father is a very bad diabetic requiring 2 injections daily and is having a lot of problems with his eye sight.

Another parcel was for a family where the mother is extremely depressed. There is the husband and 2 young children.

One parcel was for a 19 year old young lady who was born in Afghanistan but grew up in Pakistan. This beautiful young women arrived in Australia by plane 18mths ago seeking asylum. She spent 6 months in Maribynong and has now been in MITA for 12 months. She has seen over a thousand people come and go in that time and is very depressed.

We also had a parcel for an Iranian family, mother, father and 5 year old son. The mother suffers from severe depression and has spent time in hospital. She told me last week that it was her birthday on the 26th and also asked for clothes for the family. They were given clothing and a cake to celebrate her birthday. The husband was very grateful, saying it made his wife happy. She didn’t feel well enough to come to the visitors centre.

An Iranian man that I have assisted with clothing came and said hello. He is still waiting to have surgery on his knee that was damaged in the February riots on Manus Island.

Two mothers, sisters, both with 2 young children were bought in to meet us. They came from Christmas Island at the end of last week. They are suffering from severe depression. It became very emotional when one of the mothers showed me her arms. Both arms showed the scars of over thirty burn marks. She said to me, “all we want is freedom.” “Christmas Island is very bad.” I told her that we do not like what our government is doing. They told us they had a brother on Christmas Island but they rarely saw him because he was in another compound.

Another mother who we have assisted a number of times came to me very concerned about her 4 years old daughter who suffers from epilepsy, and having fits almost every day. She is also concerned that her daughter is very underweight and doesn’t like the food. When I first met the mother about 6 months ago she told me that she and her daughter had been sent to Perth for her daughter’s treatment. They were there for 2 months. During this time her husband and older son where left back on Christmas Island. They were reunited in MITA shortly after the mother and daughter arrived.

An 8 year old girl came up to me and said to me, “mummy is in hospital and daddy is sick.” We have assisted and met with this family many times. The mother is in hospital on suicide watch. Her 8 months old son is with her at the hospital. It is not her first visit to hospital. When the mother was around 6 months pregnant she was sent to Darwin to wait for the birth of the baby. Her husband, son and daughter remained on Christmas Island, affecting everyone’s mental health.

Another mother came and proudly showed us her little 2 weeks old daughter. We had supplied clothing for the baby and the whole family.

At 5pm we went into memorial service for the young Tamil man. This was held in a class room next to the visitors centre. It was a very moving and emotional ceremony. A Tamil priest co-celebrated the mass with Fr Peter. The Tamil priest personal knew the young man. The gospel was read in English, Italian, Arabic and Tamil.

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MsLods’ news round-up: law + technology


ISP blockades on file-sharing sites lifted after Spanish Court overturns ruling. | Future of Copyright | 

Pirate Bay traffic has doubled post-ISP blocks. | Ars Technica | http://bit.ly/1nr1lxR

IP academic tells Parliamentary Committee he can’t see any basis for the assertions that the iiNet decision needs to be overturned. | ComputerWorld | 

iiNet joins web giants to raise concerns about intermediary liability in secret TPP talks. | IT News | 

Six strikes was not designed to provide courtroom evidence of infringement. | Ars Technica | http://bit.ly/1n5epHj

The troubling truth of why it’s still so hard to share files directly. | Wired | http://wrd.cm/1jY1v9v

Embracing the open opportunity: “copyright needs urgent reform”, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda | Europa | http://bit.ly/1r68ROy

Defamation & media law

Andrew Bolt the latest to apologise over Tony Abbott’s wall punch. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1qMA88y

Australian Government’s latest national security bill to stifle debate. | JournLaw | http://bit.ly/1nr2bui

‘Restaurant rules’ – David Rolph’s interview on defamation & the perils of reviewing. | Radio National’s ‘Law Report’ | http://ab.co/UjN60F

Is Google undermining the right to be forgotten? | CNN | http://cnn.it/1qNwCw4

Privacy & information security

UK Data Retention Act passed in record time; fight back has already begun. | TechDirt | 

The UK’s ‘emergency’ DRIP surveillance law is a done deal.  | Gigaom | http://bit.ly/1pqLhsB

I, spy: Edward Snowden in exile. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1jYDKnv “… what you care about is the metadata, because metadata doesn’t lie …”.

Data retention ‘neither necessary nor proportionate': UNHRC | ZDNet | http://zd.net/1zKuWGg

Data retention held unconstitutional in Slovenia. | Digital Rights Ireland | http://bit.ly/1oXz8wK

Submissions to PJCIS inquiry on National Security Legislation Amendment Bill due 30 July. | APH | http://bit.ly/UjJlZ8

The website that remembers the things Google forgot. | Washington Post | http://wapo.st/1qSSGlJ

Big data is just a big, distracting bubble that is about to burst, says ‘Doc’ Searls. | ZDNet | http://zd.net/1tupF57

The unlikely life of inventor and Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr. | ABC RN | http://ab.co/1tKczkc

18 July 1992, the first photo uploaded to the Web, of CERN’s all-girl science rock band. | Brain Pickings | http://bit.ly/1k4KcJJ

Internet activism worked today. Here’s how to keep the momentum going. | Wired | http://wrd.cm/1qaqheI

Social media

Google Plus finally gives up on its ineffective, dangerous real-name policy. | Slate | http://slate.me/1jUzxBn

#thetimeofthegame – When the world watches the World Cup, what does that look like? | The Atlantic | http://theatln.tc/WgSMKH

Facebook, Google and the little people.  | Paul Bernal | http://bit.ly/1n0K5hB

Facebook and engineering the public. | Medium | http://bit.ly/1iRmqA0

Meet Del Harvey, Twitter’s troll patrol.  | Forbes | http://onforb.es/1pX2j24

20 July  2014

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MsLods’ news round-up: law + technology (*Updated)


 Why Australia should sign the Marrakesh Treaty: Trish Hepworth. | ALIA | http://bit.ly/1j5iNkF

*Australia has now signed the Marrakesh Treaty to give blind and visually impaired people access to books: https://twitter.com/WIPO/status/481059631658434560

“Australia does not have an obligation … to impose liability on internet access providers for their users’ copyright infringements”:  Associate Professor Kimberlee Weatherall. | ZDNet | http://zd.net/1p9BnAc

Australian Digital Alliance submission to JSCOT on the Intellectual Property provisions of Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement. | ADA | http://bit.ly/1m4rz2s

iiNet’s Steve Dalby to Village Roadshow: “It’s not our job to stop online infringers”. | Gizmodo | http://bit.ly/1lj1AZF

Choice Australia on piracy and access to content. | Choice | http://bit.ly/1pH1D4h

New copyright infringement laws will increase piracy: Paul Budde. | Buddle Blog | http://bit.ly/1j5pvY7

Rights holders are ‘control freaks peddling futility-on-a-stick’, says iiNet. | CNET |   Site blocking: does it work? 

7th Circuit confirms Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain. | The IPKat | http://bit.ly/1jIWlxX

Athletes’ tattoo artists file copyright suits, leave indelible mark. | WSJ | http://on.wsj.com/1uAjd81

Defamation and media law

 East Timor elites try to muddle media. | Crikey News | http://bit.ly/1jIRxsq

$600,000 restaurant review: Fairfax loses 11-year defamation battle. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1yEaer5

The “New” New York Times: Free Speech Lawyering in the Age of Google and Twitter. | Harvard Law Review | http://bit.ly/1qE7Lus

A Policy Background Paper: Media Control and Ownership on media diversity. | Department of Communications |

Privacy & information security

ISIS threat justifies greater surveillance, says former defence secretary (UK).  | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1prgCvH

Privacy since Snowden: Mark Stephens. | Project Syndicate | http://bit.ly/1jITDs9

House votes to cut key pursestrings for NSA surveillance. | Wired | http://wrd.cm/1w2QSK1

Australian spy agencies in line for new digital surveillance powers. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1rp13WA

Canada: Internet providers can’t provide customer names and addresses to police without a warrant. | CBC | http://bit.ly/1oXi4aL

US: For first time, Appeals Court rules warrant is required for cell phone location tracking. | ACLU | http://bit.ly/1nxtFMh 

Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager. | On the Media | http://bit.ly/V4LMQL

In a single tweet, as many pieces of metadata as there are characters. | WSJ | http://on.wsj.com/1uu3jxF

Time to axe the ‘Australia tax’.  | Choice Australia | http://bit.ly/1yEn1d7

How Amazon is holding Hachette hostage: Cory Doctorow. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1no58qk

Social media

Social media and the Law resources. | Law Institute of Victoria | http://bit.ly/1nw5eNG

What everybody misunderstands about the ROI of social media. | Gary Vaynerchuk | http://bit.ly/U6tfCM

The impact of social media on political journalism: Judith Ireland & Greg Jericho. | APH | http://bit.ly/1lKAPgr (27 June 2014)

Lawyers have been given the green light to scan the social media sites of jurors (US). | ABA | http://bit.ly/V49hcz

23 June  2014

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MsLods’ news round-up: law + technology


What’s the issue with piracy in Australia? writes Steve Dalby | iiNet | http://bit.ly/1qmIXUE

iiNet calls on consumer fight back to piracy plans. | ZDNet | http://zd.net/1hLgWqk  

Chris Berg: Coalition in murky waters in the hunt for online pirates. | The Drum | http://ab.co/1l3ylF3

Web browsing is copyright infringement, publishers argue.  | Ars Technica | http://bit.ly/1oxU0sR

Professor Jill McKeough’s presentation to the Parliamentary Library on the ALRC’s Inquiry: Copyright and the Digital Economy. | http://bit.ly/1lk7CJ1

Defamation & media law

Overview of the  Australian Centre for Independent Journalism’s ‘Justice Open and Shut’ Symposium held last week. | JournLaw | http://bit.ly/TE1UHP

Chris Kenny: I’ll be remembered as a dog f***er who stood up for his rights. | http://bit.ly/1hoOIBf

Privacy & information security

Intruders to the plugged-in-home, coming in through the Internet. | New York Times | http://nyti.ms/1pyc4Xt

Privacy is not dead – it’s inevitable.  | Boston Review | http://bit.ly/1kM4RAD

Quantifying privacy: a week of location data may be an unreasonable search.  | New York Times | http://nyti.ms/SuBmHO

NSA systems are so complex we can’t stop them from deleting data wanted for lawsuit. | Washington Post | http://wapo.st/1hD7Nzy

The killer gigabit app? It’s not what you think. “The speed is the app.” | GigaOm | http://bit.ly/1nvgX0E

Debunking the false construct of piracy and high-speed internet adoption. | Ericsson | http://bit.ly/S5l7Rf

Social media

Who’s behind that tweet? Here’s how 7 news organisations manage their Twitter & Facebook accounts. | Nieman Lab | http://bit.ly/1nH1NGo

Emily Parker on Blogging for freedom in Vietnam. | New Yorker | http://nyr.kr/1l13Bt6

On my reading list: “Judges, Cyberspace and Social Media” by Judge J. C. Gibson http://bit.ly/1oHQ6ji

10 June  2014

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MsLods’ news round-up: law + technology


Australian government considers graduated response to piracy. | ZDNet | http://zd.net/1hf6Rl3

Copyright trolls suffer big loss. | CNet | http://cnet.co/T3oAky

Spotify chief hits back over piracy.  | Australian Financial Review | http://bit.ly/1lMHnY4

New data on US 6-strikes copyright system released. | Yahoo Finance | http://yhoo.it/1ks65AS

Joshua Gans on behavioural artists and piracy. | Digitopoly  | http://bit.ly/RSyEeX

Defamation & media law

Hockey’s defamation suit shows need for wider free speech debate. | The Conversation | http://bit.ly/1kwro47

Privacy & information security

Public event on the state of surveillance. Speakers include Senator Ludlam. Melbourne, 17 June 2014. Details: http://www.webwewant.org.au

The empire strikes back: How Brandeis foreshadowed Snowden and Greenwald. | Salon | http://bit.ly/1nQc2WV

Free speech groups issue new guide to the international ‘necessary and proportionate’ principles. | EFF | http://bit.ly/1mZbuip

Cory Doctorow: You are not a digital native: Privacy in the age of the Internet. | Tor | http://bit.ly/1tjHpuu

NSA collecting millions of faces from web images. | New York Times | http://nyti.ms/1pIcGqK

Reed Hastings won’t use data to mess with TV plots, and that’s why Netflix will win. | Pando | http://bit.ly/1lWdvbM

The busiest man on the Internet. | Forbes | http://onforb.es/1nBTonC

You can’t read all about it anymore: Nick Cohen. | Standpoint | http://bit.ly/1pqDgrf

Google’s new self-driving car has no steering wheels, no brakes and a face designed to be “friendly”. | Forbes | http://onforb.es/1jsMn2z

Social media

Making Twitter easier to use. | New York Times | http://nyti.ms/SmLen7

Yellow Social Media Report 2014 | Yellow Advertising | http://bit.ly/1kwl7k7

1 June 2014

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MsLods’ news round-up: law + technology


Deal to combat piracy in UK with alerts is ‘imminent’. | BBC News | http://bbc.in/Ql2bgo

How Disney learned to stop worrying and embrace copyright infringement.  | The Salon | http://bit.ly/1nzMu09

Copyright troll demands Comcast’s six strikes data for lawsuit.  | Torrentfreak | http://bit.ly/Rs6d7f

Spotify chief hits back over piracy.  | Australian Financial Review | http://bit.ly/1lMHnY4

Defamation & media law

Ireland: Court tells Sharkey to take down his tweet. | Independent | http://bit.ly/1iadCiR

E-libel laws the new front line in Pacific battles for freedom. | The Conversation | http://bit.ly/1jIRksV

Defamation should be law reform focus not racial discrimination: Richard Ackland.  | Sydney Morning Herald | http://bit.ly/1j0oPBT

Privacy & information security

Photos of a NSA “upgrade” factory shows a Cisco router getting an implant. | Ars Technica | http://bit.ly/1jIRksV

Worst day for eBay, multiple flaws leave millions of users vulnerable to hackers. | Hacker News | http://bit.ly/1vUAxbi

We kill people based on metadata.  | The New York Review of Books | http://bit.ly/1mNuIq0

The right response to the right to delete. | Re/code | http://on.recode.net/1ozc7j6

US cybersecurity expert warns against metadata storage.  |  Australian Financial Review | http://bit.ly/1mwFd0N

Snowden’s first move against the NSA was a party in Hawaii. | Wired | http://wrd.cm/1noPAEj

The little conference that kickstarted the Web: Mark Pesce. |  The Drum | http://ab.co/1oYUQCi

Why I was forced to shut down Lavabit. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/TqwHb7

Computer mice: still a thing. | The Atlantic | http://bit.ly/1mzCfNa

Living on Bitcoin a year later: dropping digital dollars at a strip club. | Forbes | http://onforb.es/1jwrpoj

Giants behaving badly: Google, Facebook and Amazon show us the downside of monopolies and black-box algorithms. | GigaOm | http://bit.ly/1mfCoSW

Social media

Can an algorithm solve Twitter’s credibility problem? | The New Yorker | http://nyr.kr/1j8rA8Z

With update, Snapchat gets a little less private. | The New York Times |http://nyti.ms/1khgzCO

Alleged insider trading case cracked through LinkedIn. | SMH | http://bit.ly/1nHkdWp

A platform and a blogging tool, Medium charms writers. | The New York Times | http://nyti.ms/1nnYrrI

26 May 2014

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MsLods’ news round-up: law + technology


Stop the pirates? Behind Brandis’ copyright crusade. | The Conversation | http://bit.ly/1fHeXlV

Obama: TPP critics have “a lack of knowledge of what is going on in the negotiations”. | InfoJustice | http://bit.ly/1nfHVsJ

The conservative case for taking on the copyright lobby. | Business Insider | http://bit.ly/1mrb1Za

Defamation & media law

Weibo: we can’t censor fast enough to satisfy the Chinese government. | Salon | http://bit.ly/Q2IWZ3

Protecting journalists’ sources: don’t take your smart phone. | Global Voices | http://bit.ly/1i89iE4

Privacy & information security

Everyone is under surveillance now, says Edward Snowden. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1q31NUt

We need online alter egos now more than ever. | Wired | http://wrd.cm/1mr8MVU

Is the EU really about to outlaw mass data surveillance? | Wired (UK) | http://bit.ly/RgPS5K

Coca-Cola is using facial recognition technology on fridges in Australia to sell more drinks. | Business Insider | http://bit.ly/1js2h1k

How one woman hid her pregnancy from big data. | Mashable | http://on.mash.to/1iXB6M4

Baby monitor hacker still terrorizing babies and their parents. | Forbes | http://onforb.es/1ky1VCU


ATO to coin new rules after crypto-currency talks. | Australian Financial Review | http://bit.ly/1g04c8L

Judge’s ruling spells bad news for U.S. cloud providers. | GigaOm | http://bit.ly/1mr7zOi

Embed with Katharine Neil and Harvey Smith. | Embed with Games | http://bit.ly/Q2Ij1p

Technology and privacy law in the US will soon be shaped by people who don’t use email. | The Guardian | http://bit.ly/1ulCoVL

Social media

The censorship effect. | TechCrunch | http://tcrn.ch/1iXxZUC

Twitter is not dying. It’s on the cusp of getting much bigger. | Slate | http://slate.me/Snt9WJ

Why Facebook’s new ‘anonymous login’ matters. | Forbes | http://onforb.es/1kIW7JX

Domino’s adopts 24/7 social media monitoring. | Australian Financial Review | http://bit.ly/Snu49u

Department of Premier & Cabinet’s social media policy. | DPC Victoria | http://bit.ly/1oftQLE

Another questionable IP law suit over a derogatory twitter account.  | Technology & Marketing Law Blog | http://bit.ly/RgRNXX

4 May 2014

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